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Doctor insights on: Retained Placenta After C Section

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Dr. Shari Jackson
18 Doctors shared insights

Retained Afterbirth (Definition)

The "afterbirth" is the placenta, membranes, and umbilical cord. After the birth of a baby, the placenta should separate from the uterine wall and deliver. It can take as long as 30 minutes for this to happen. If it doesn't separate and deliver during this time-frame it is considered a retained placenta, or retained afterbirth. Manual or surgical ...Read more


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I've had a retained placenta for over a month now and I've recently gotten quite sick. No doctor has suggested removing it. Should I be worried?

Be worried: If you have a retained placenta for over a month, you are at risk of getting a very bad infection inside the uterus. You need to be seen right away and have it removed.

This can be very serious, even life-threatening. Don't take a chance. ...Read more

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Had baby 8 months ago. If I had any retained placenta, would I have had symptoms by now? What are they?

Yes: Being that you are 8months out from your delivery, it is unlikely you have any retained placenta. Heavy, irregular bleeding, clotting & cramping would typically herald retained placental fragments or pieces; although having no periods at all may be related.
If you had any delivery issues or complications with the delivery of your placenta, then I would discuss the matter with your delivering ob. ...Read more

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Has anyone here treated retained placenta after delivery?

Has anyone here treated retained placenta after delivery?

Yes: Probably anyone who has delivered a baby has had a case of retained placenta. ...Read more

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My sister bled a lot. I wasn't there to see why. So what are signs and symptoms of retained placenta?

Typically pain/bleed: After delivery pain and bleeding are possibly signs of retained placenta. However there are other possible causes. In any case significant pain and/or bleeding after delivery needs medical assessment. Fever over 100.4 f also should be assessed. ...Read more

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Could a retained placenta cause infection?

Could a retained placenta cause infection?

Sure.: Any retained non-viable tissue can be a nidus for infection and clotting. See your ob/gyn to address such an issue! ...Read more

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Months after giving birth is it possible to have a a retained placenta?

Months after giving birth is it possible to have a a retained placenta?

Probably Not: Assuming you have had resumption of normal periods, and your pregnancy test is negative. It was be very very very rare. ...Read more

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Normal birth with no complications. DC at 6w pp for retained placenta fragments. 4 months later period still is extremely light for 2 days. Ashermans?

Normal birth with no complications. DC at 6w pp for retained placenta fragments. 4 months later period still is extremely light for 2 days. Ashermans?

D&C certainly can: Cause Asherman's syndrome or scarring of the uterine lining. However, D & C can also delay menses temporarily even if no scarring has developed. Also, following childbirth there's usually a delay in resuming normal cycles. Going to the other extreme, it's not impossible to conceive shortly after giving birth. I recommend pregnancy test & follow up appt. With your Gyno. Dr. Anne. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of a retained placenta, fibroid, or ovarian cyst?

Symptoms of these 3: Ovarian cysts may not cause symptoms at all or possibly pain or pressure in the lower abdomen on the side of the cyst. I don't know of any symptoms of retained placenta, but there are clinical signs your obstetrician is familiar with that suggest it. Symptoms of fibroids include pelvic pain and pressure, abnormal uterine bleeding, and reproductive dysfunction. ...Read more

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Had a D&C at 6w postpartum for retained placenta. What are the chances of having ashermans syndrome? No periods since.

Had a D&C at 6w postpartum for retained placenta. What are the chances of having ashermans syndrome? No periods since.

Low: If no previous I+D or abortion procedures chances low. Other procedures chances go up. You don't say how long its been, just that you had it at 6w post partum. See your OB/GYN, take a home pregnancy test. ...Read more

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Is there a gentle way to treat retained placenta?

Is there a gentle way to treat retained placenta?

Probably not: The term "retained placenta" implies that the placenta has failed to detach spontaneously with the usual postpartum measures including uterine massage, IV pitocin, (oxytocin) and gentle umbilical cord traction. At that point manual removal of the placenta is indicated, and while performed carefully may not seem to be gentle. If manual removal is incomplete, surgical removal by curettage is usually next. ...Read more

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There bleeding symptoms from retained placenta?

Vaginal bleeding: Massive vagnal bleeding arising from the partial separation of the retained placenta is the primary symptom. ...Read more

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Does anyone know about asherman's syndrome after retained placenta?

Asherman's Syndrome: Asherman's syndrome is when the retained placenta was removed by "vigorous scraping" (d & c) of the lining of the uterus (endometrium) in which the two side walls of the uterus adhere together causing a subsequent absence of mentrual periods. This also occurs when the placenta "grows into the uterine wall" during the pregnancy and attempts to remove it cause asherman's syndrome. ...Read more

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What do they do to stop the bleeding and other symptoms of retained placenta?

D and C: Retained placenta is treated by a surgical procedure called a d and c (dilation and curettage). In this procedure we surgically remove the retained tissue to stop the bleeding and avoid infection. ...Read more

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Would pelvic pain be so intense this long after delivery 2wk ago. Could I have appendicitis or retained placenta?

Yes: Your body is trying to tell you that something is wrong. You could have retained placenta or appendicitis. You should call your obstetrician and discuss it. You may need to go to the emergency room for evaluation. ...Read more

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I had an ultrasound that showed retained placenta almost 2 weeks postpartum, but I haven't bled at all for 4 days. Can I decline the d&c?

Maybe: Sometimes the retained placenta is due to an ingrown into the muscle placenta (accreta) and is best left to come out on its own. If that is not the case by the MD's assessment, then a D & C is recommended to prevent an infection. If sudden bright red bleeding occurs at anytime run do not walk to the ER as it can be massive in a very short time. ...Read more

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Why would a hysteroscopy be necessary if ultrasound showed only fre fluid and no other signs of retained placenta? Could US miss pieces post a d&C.?

Why would a hysteroscopy be necessary if ultrasound showed only fre fluid and no other signs of retained placenta? Could US miss pieces post a d&C.?

Usually not: Ultrasound is very accurate about retained products of conception. You don't say how thick then endometrium is and that may be the reason for hysteroscopy and d&c ...Read more

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Signs of retained placenta?

Bleeding: If your bleeding persists longer than 6 weeks after your delivery, it could be a sign that a small piece of your placenta remained in your uterus after delivery. ...Read more

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What causes retained placenta?

No detachment: After delivery, the placenta is supposed to detach from the wall of the uterus along a specific layer of tissue. Sometimes this tissue layer is partially missing and part of the placenta is tightly adherent to the uterine wall. The placenta is divided into sections called cotyledons. Sometimes one or two cotyledons will be left behind when the rest of the placenta is delivered. Best wishes! ...Read more

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What could be the cause of retained placenta?

Several: This is one of those problems where a visit to your doctor is necessary to figure out what's going on. Only after a thorough evaluation, including examination and possibly labs and other tests, can your doctor correctly diagnose you and treat you effectively. ...Read more

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What to do if I have not been sick. Is it possible to have a retained placenta for that long without knowing?

What: Your question is either wrong or not explained right
Anyhow it is almost impossible to have retained placenta for long time without knowing ...Read more

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I went for an ultrasound 3 weeks ago and my doctor said retained placenta. However my last child was born 5 years ago. What are the risks of this?

I went for an ultrasound 3 weeks ago and my doctor said retained placenta. However my last child was born 5 years ago. What are the risks of this?

Not possible: I am not an OB but as a radiologist, I have had to diagnose this. As far as I know, you could not go for five years with retained placenta. It is more likely scarring or polyp/tumor of the uterus. I recommend you go to an independent laboratory for a repeat ultrasound including an endovagional US. If there is still uncertainty, a MRI is a great way to diagnose uterine abnormalities. ...Read more

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Bright red bleeding 3 days post d &c for retained placenta (4 weeks postpartum). Very light when resting, but heavier. When I stand or do something.

Bright red bleeding 3 days post d &c for retained placenta (4 weeks postpartum). Very light when resting, but heavier. When I stand or do something.

Call your doctor: Bleeding should decrease each day. If it is not or worsening, you should call your surgeon (the one who performed the D&C). ...Read more

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I had a d&c for retained placenta 2 weeks after a vaginal delivery, is this normal? Most people I hear about is 6 + weeks postpartum.

Never normal: A retained placenta is not a normal thing to happen at all. It is considered an abnormal complication. A D and C is the correct treatment. The earlier post partum it is recognized and treated the better. ...Read more

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I had a retained placenta bleed for about two weeks and had sharp and extremely painful cramps in my right leg believe it traveled down that side and came out naturally when I was using restroom but I having sharp pains in my side now one year later?

I had a retained placenta bleed for about two weeks and had sharp and extremely painful cramps in my right leg believe it traveled down that side and came out naturally when I was using restroom but I having sharp pains in my side now one year later?

Hmmm....: A retained placenta is just a little piece. The entire placenta is huge and is obvious when it is delivered (the same path a baby is delivered). A small fragment of the placenta can be stuck to the inside of the uterus after the main piece of the placenta has delivered. The retained fragment cannot travel to a side, a leg, nor anywhere... because the piece has only one way out, through the vagina. ...Read more

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3 1/2 weeks post D & C (done4 weeks postpartum retained/placenta), still crampy and spotting. OB says not worried, but I am. Opinions?

3 1/2 weeks post D & C (done4 weeks postpartum retained/placenta), still crampy and spotting. OB says not worried, but I am. Opinions?

May be normal.: The provided history may reflect a normal postoperative and postpartum course. If any tissue were to remain in the uterus, a pelvic ultrasound could be performed to determine if there are any retained products of conception. ...Read more

Placenta (Definition)

The placenta is an organ that connects the developing fetus to the uterine wall to allow nutrient uptake, waste elimination, and gas exchange via ...Read more